It's here! I've been waiting to share all of our Italy photos and I've finally gotten around to organizing them in 'story form'! I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed reliving - although I guess, that is asking kind of a lot ;)
We arrived in Rome on Thursday morning and took a taxi straight to our hotel, Palazzo Navona, just two blocks from the infamous Piazza Navona. Andy and I have both been to Rome before, but that took nothing away from the excitement of being in this historical and beautiful city. The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi stands at the center of the Piazza.
The best part about being Rome a second time is feeling more comfortable taking time to really look at everything and appreciate the mastery that Bernini possessed.
The fountain was unveiled June 12 of 1651 - 364 years before we took these pictures :)
^^On the right, the Nile, his face hidden representing the unknown source of the Nile at this time. In the back right is Rio de La Plata river, representing the Americas; and I'm sure I'll come up with a photo of the fourth river, the Ganges, at some point.
We took a seat at one of the spots on the square for a snack and refreshments after a looong plane ride. I have serious doubts that I'll ever make it to Asia or Australia... 9 hours is about my limit on a plane!
This is the first of many pictures of mozzarella, prosciutto and luscious tomato bruschetta that you'll see if you keep reading my blog :)
There were so many vibrant colors! Every wall was a tempting backdrop for a photo!
On the other side of our hotel, the Piazza della Rotunda. In the center is the Fontana del Pantheon and on the South side, the ever-impressive Pantheon.
The oculus, at the top of the 142 ft diameter dome. The Pantheon is in perfect proportions. The distance from the floor to the top of the dome is exactly its diameter.
These porticos were brought all the way from Egypt - each are 39 feet tall and 60 tons!
The Column of Marcus Aurelius, a roman victory column with a spiral relief telling the story of Marcus Aurelius' Marcomannic wars. The inside is hollow with ~200 steps to the platform at the top. No thanks!
After an hour or so wandering around, our hotel room was ready. We quickly freshened up to head back out into the heat...
Our fuel to avoid jet-lag: Prosecco + espresso
^^ Fontana della Barcaccia (barr-kah-chah), a Baroque fresh water fountain at the bottom of the Spanish Steps. The shape was chosen because prior to the building of the river walls, theTiber often flooded. In 1598 there was a particularly bad flood and the Piazza di Spagna flooded; once the water withdrew, a boat was left behind in the square.
We continued on to do a little window shopping...
I really liked this blue satchel bag! The size is perfect for me and I've been wanting a blue bag, but was not about to consider buying it in Rome. I actually hate shopping while on vacation, it messes with my whole "carry-on only" packing method, so I really mean window shopping. I found this one at Target in blue since we've been back, and I have to say it has the effect I wanted and a much more reasonable price tag!
I'm not really a 'bag' girl anyway. Shoes are my weakness! Even looking at men's shoes for Andy is a lot of fun :)
After the Spanish Steps, we powered through the crowd to see Fontana di Trevi...
Wah, wah. It was closed for maintenance until October 2015.
Again, having been in Rome before, neither of us were crushed that we didn't see the Trevi in all its glory. I would've been so sad if this was going to be my first time! I mean, look at this behemoth! It's actually AMAZING.
^^ I took these photos in 2012 when I was couch surfing (still cannot believe I did that!) My host informed me of the myth that you have to throw a coin over your left shoulder with your right hand to ensure you'll return to Rome one day. So I did it sarcastically. But apparently it works!
About this fountain though - it is insanely huge! Even without the water, it was still an impressive sight. It is the largest Baroque fountain in the city at 86 ft high and 161.3 ft wide, covering the whole facade of one side of square and bursting out into the Piazza di Trevi, which is essentially just a path around the fountain. The fountain is at the junction of three roads marking the terminal point of one of the aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome. Legend holds that in 19 BC thirsty Roman solders were guided by a young virgin girl to a source of pure water 13 km from the city, which led Augustus to commission the construction of the aqueduct, which was named Aqua Virgo, or Virgin Waters.
I'll stop with the history lesson soon enough but I originally looked this up because I thought that Bernini had designed this fountain. It turns out, in 1629, Bernini was asked to sketch possible renovations for the fountain to make it more "dramatic" but the project was abandoned. The Trevi fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi and finished by Pietro Bracci around 1762.
Did we really stop for another glass of wine you ask? Why, yes. Yes we did.
Tomorrow - Day 2 - the Vatican, Trastevere and one of our favorite dinners in Roma at Mimi e Coco...